Music comes in a wide range of genres. Classical music seems to be the genre that people consider fleeting in the musical culture of our society. However, I believe it is still relevant and listened to by people today.
First, some people may not realize that popular musicians today are constantly inspired by works from Bach to Beethoven. For example, the famous rapper Janelle Monáe takes an excerpt from the piano piece “Claire de Lune” by French composer Claude Debussy. She uses it for her song “Say You’ll Go”. About three-quarters of the way through the song, the sample of the French piece is chopped into a smaller part of the song, then Monáe moves it from small samples to sampling a section of “Clair de Lune”, rather than smaller parts. The blatant use of classical music is used by a singer and rapper in our modern day.
Second, we need classical music to learn more about the history of music. As my high school history teacher told his students, “We learn history, so it’s not doomed to repeat itself. These wise words are valid in all subjects, even music. The art of music can be extremely abstract and have such a wide range of creativity, but what if that creativity goes a little too far? Everyone has witnessed bad musicians throughout history and musicians who have made bad choices. Looking back, we can see the failures of classical composers and classical musicians. These failures have helped the world of music to grow and refine until it is today.
Conversely, one can also learn from the success of artists in classical music. We know that some composers were naturally gifted, while others had to face extreme difficulties in developing the skills that made them musical legends. For example, Mozart was considered a prodigy when he began to compose his own music around the age of four or five. He became famous for his gift of composition and execution; however, people ridiculed him because his music was misunderstood by the public. People misunderstood him because he was composing music ahead of his time, which is why he became more popular after his death.
So many great musicians throughout history have been ridiculed for their art, which makes the history of music so important. If we leave classical music aside, we forget the lessons that can be learned from musicians of this genre.
Finally, there are still a lot of people who love classical music to this day. Thousands of people continue to fill opera houses and symphony halls to watch musicians perform music from the Baroque and Romantic periods. There is still a great appreciation for the genre today, regardless of what other genres have larger audiences.
Classical music will never die, as long as people learn from it and the importance it plays in our history. I will continue to learn and listen to classical music until the day I die.
Ethan Schobernd is a second year journalism student. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]